Robbins Predicts Moderate Year For U.S. Economy

Friday, February 07, 2014

CEO of Robbins Capital Management and former New York investment banker Bob Robbins gave a market forecast to the Chattanooga Civitan Club and predicted a moderate year for the United States economy. He said he expected growth of approximately six percent.


He said currently the country is in a super bull market, which is a period of three years or longer where the market goes up more than usual.


However, he warned that markets are most successful in countries with the highest amount of economic freedom and the United States has fallen behind countries such as Hong Kong, Switzerland, Canada and Denmark in the past decades.


Economic freedom is defined as the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property. It means each individual is free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way he or she pleases. North Korea ranks last in the world, the speaker said.


He said countries with higher economic freedom have higher average income, higher life expectancy, higher literacy, and less corruption and political violence.


Mr. Robbins said government spending and regulations have weighed down the United States economy. He said, "It's crowding out private enterprise."


He told the members of the Civitan Club that, while government spending can temporarily boost the economy, it does not help it in the long term. He said government spending at any level - local, state, or federal - creates a lower GDP as it increased, and that "voluminous research shows that excessive government spending is harmful."


He also said states with a statewide income tax fared worse financially than states without it, with states using a progressive tax system faring the worst. He showed a map of states ranked by fiscal condition. California, Illinois, and Massachusetts were some of the worst while Tennessee was near the top.


He said, "The more progressive the state income tax, the more self-defeating it is. It slows their growth."


Mr. Robbins also said government welfare programs had provided a disincentive to work and help the economy grow. In 35 states, welfare pays more than minimum wage and in 13 states, it pays over $15 per hour.


Mr. Robbins answered questions after he gave his analysis. When asked about his favorite stocks to invest in, he suggested stocks in the financial sector. He said since they took such a hit during the recession, many are now going upward again. He also suggested stocks in the technology and healthcare sectors.


When asked about gold, he said he did not recommend investing in it because its value had already peaked. He also said he did not recommend investing in bitcoin.


Chattanooga CARES Promotes Two New Directors

Chattanooga CARES has promoted two new directors, Williams Adams and Adam Kilgore.  Mr. Adams was promoted to prevention and outreach director.  Mr. Adams has worked in HIV education and prevention for more than 10 years. His passion for community work began as a volunteer for Chattanooga CARES in the early nineties and from that time till today, he witnessed the HIV ... (click for more)

Josh Janeway And Kenneth Garmany Join Metalworking Solutions

Metalworking Solutions announced on Wednesday that Josh Janeway and Kenneth Garmany have joined the company as quality manager and director of Business Development respectively. Mr. Janeway has eight years of experience leading ISO efforts in various organizations. Mr. Garmany has over 20 years in the metal fabrication industry, marketing and selling fabrication services throughout ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Chamber Taps Bill Kilbride As Next CEO

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has tapped retiring Mohawk Industries executive Bill Kilbride as president-elect to succeed Ron Harr as president and CEO on a schedule to be announced later. According to Howard Levine, chairman of the chamber board, Mr. Harr will continue as CEO for several more months. “We were disappointed that health concerns have made it necessary ... (click for more)

Cleveland, Tn., Woman Missing Since 2011 Turns Up In Mississippi

A Cleveland, Tn., woman who had been missing since 2011 was found Tuesday in Mississippi. The Biloxi Sun Herald said 50-year-old Tammy Renee King, was walking along Mississippi 613 when a citizen stopped to help her. The Good Samaritan called the sheriff's office. Members of a local church plan to drive her back to Cleveland after she is checked out at a hospital. The newspaper ... (click for more)

Time For Tennessee To Act On Climate This Earth Day - And Response

Tennessee will join the rest of the southeast region, the nation and countries across the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22. The entire month of April is a great time to reflect on the strides we have made to reduce pollution over the last 44 years, and assess current environmental conditions while evaluating our personal responsibility to a cleaner environment.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Jim Coppinger Excels

Jim Coppinger, who as the mayor of Hamilton County has understandably had to grow some thick skin, wants no part of the repulsive billboards now seen around town that ask, “Do you have gonorrhea?”  His Tuesday morning telephone call revealed he is just as disgusted as the rest of us who see them showing a picture of a forlorn African-American male. “You need to know the Hamilton ... (click for more)